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Fault rests with killer,

not his weapon choice

I'm not sure how to say this without sounding repetitious, but with gun violence front and center in the news, I need to try.

Passing even more restrictive guns laws in response to mass shootings is like passing laws to restrict car ownership because so many people are killed by drunk drivers.

Mass shootings happen because a violent, racist and/or mentally unstable person decided to make a point by killing a bunch of people. The particular tool they use is absolutely immaterial. Time and time again, we see that these violent psychopaths have had a long and repeated history of vicious and extreme public comments and posts online that were simply ignored by everyone who read them. Restricting these kinds of "speech" isn't an easy topic to tackle, because the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right to free speech. However, "hate speech" is not protected by the Constitution, and that should be prosecuted wherever it's found.

If you see, hear or read violent hate speech, speak up! If you see it online, report it so it can be deleted.

The problem here is not guns and law-abiding gun owners. The problem is violent psychopaths acting out their deadly fantasy of murder, with whatever tool they decide to use. Consider this: If there had been a couple of licensed, armed, law-abiding citizens present at any one of the past shootings, they could have intervened sooner and potentially stopped or reduced the number of casualties. Don't blame the tool (the gun), and don't blame law-abiding gun owners. When another violent criminal opens fire in a crowded venue somewhere, I would much prefer he meet a few law-abiding armed citizens, who could step in and potentially end the threat, than for the thug to just be able to run amok and kill a bunch of innocent people.

Law-abiding armed citizens are the solution, not the problem!

Mark Dague

Bentonville

Name-calling responses

are not inherently true

I am a white heterosexual Christian conservative. I believe we should have a strong border and carefully screen applicants for entry into the United States. That doesn't make me a xenophobe.

I believe the term marriage should designate the union of a man and a woman. Other types of unions should be other types of unions (everyone should have equal protection under the law). That doesn't make me a homophobe.

I believe there are two sexes based on one's biology (with rare genetic exceptions). That doesn't make me a sexist.

I believe extreme Islam is incompatible with American values (most Muslims are wonderful Americans). That doesn't make me an Islamophobe.

I believe the color of one's skin is irrelevant (not primary). That doesn't make me a racist.

I believe that one's values are the only determinant that is relevant (I do not have to give up compassion to have standards). Like it or not, these values expressed on every coin in the realm -- liberty, e pluribus unum and In God We Trust -- are quintessentially American. That doesn't make me a bigot.

No matter how many times you use these epithets, that doesn't make them true. It only makes any counterpoint look ineffectual.

Despite the almost daily cringe I experience with Donald Trump's tweets, no matter how many times the press and the left use these ad hominem attacks, that doesn't make them true. It only points out the lack of substance to left-wing ideas.

Michael Toppen

Bella Vista

Commentary on 08/10/2019

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor

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